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Weaning Successfully Requires Understanding The “Natural” Nature Of The Horse
Using Ezee Wean to wean foal

 by Horsing Around, LLC makers of EZEE WEAN

Mother has much to teach her foal during the first year.  A foal learns by mirroring its mother.  The first couple of months of the foal’s life, mother is in a protective mode.  She will fend off any critter that intends to do harm.  Mother has a keen sense of hearing and is alert to any unusual sounds or movement.  During the third month mom lightens up on protection, and switches into a mode of being a teacher. Mom teaches the foal about socialization through the use of example and demonstration.  She demonstrates when to be cautious, when to be aggressive, and when to circle (avoidance). True herd socialization can only be taught if a band of horses exist.  A typical band in nature is made up of several adult horses of both genders and various ages.  Today behavioral problems are caused because many horses to not live in a band or a band that does not a have a good gender mix.  Also confinement in small spaces causes abnormal behavior.

My personal observations during the early months of a foal’s life, revealed when you use “force separation” to wean, undesirable traits frequently develop because the mare/ foal bond is broken at the same time nursing is stopped, and mom is not available to provide comfort.  These young animals appear to be much more flighty, less trusting (more fearful), and very anxious.  As the young animals mature, many showed extreme aggressiveness and others behave excessively timid and would not defend themselves or be persistent at the feeder for acquiring their fair share.  Undesirable behavior may last a lifetime; pacing fences, chewing, unsolicited biting, and kicking, to name a few.

 Also, when horses are limited in numbers (less than typical horse band), the bond between mother and baby become abnormally strong (unnatural).  The two primary elements are necessary for a mare and foal to develop a natural and healthy bond; living with in a band of horses (comprising of at least seven horses and of mix gender) and having ample space for a quick exit from harm.  It is important for caregivers to be aware of this information, in order for steps to be taken to compensate or make reasonable adjustment to have the mare and foal develop a more natural bond.  The caregiver to taking more time to observe the animal’s behavior, improve herd membership and conditions, and be sensitive to appropriate timing and techniques used.  These care adjustments will result in the development of an animal with self-confidents, exceptional calmness, and trust. Horse traits/qualities that ever first time horse owner desires. 

No other alternative method for weaning had been available, until just recently.  
For centuries, man has been weaning by separating their animals.  Often times the owners would just plan on shipping the baby to a new owner at the time he/she thought the baby should be ready to go it alone, with no more nursing.  Seldom was there any follow up to find out what really happens to the young animals and understanding the effects force separation may have caused; out of site, out of mind, has been the attitude by so many.

Weaning is made easier for the animals by using the new EZEE WEAN method.  It allows the animals to remain together, just like in nature, and mother can continue to nurture, protect, and educate her baby.  The Ezee Wean method requires that your foal wear a halter during the four to six week weaning process.  Prior to starting the weaning process and applying the Ezee Wean your foal needs to be accustom to wearing a halter. The Ezee Wean functions on the principle theory of comfort and discomfort, the same theory used in most training techniques.  Your careful observation and sound judgment is needed to determine a safe environment, an appropriate time, and the proper fitting of the Ezee Wean.    

Using the new Ezee Wean method does not require a long-term separation period.  Stress is reduced when mom can continue to nurture and educate her baby during the most formative months of life, when baby is developing self-confidence.  Mom will actually wean her foal, just as if she were in the wild, with baby at her side.
To wean successfully the natural connection to nature is necessary.  A foal will always resort to wanting to nurse whenever frightened.  A noise, a thunderstorm, a disrupted routine, being moved to a new location, adding a strange horse, and returning mom to baby after mom has been absent, are examples of when a baby will attempt to nurse.  Also mother is unable to teach herd etiquette to her foal when horse numbers are to low and no true horse band exists.  Situations need to occur to provide mom a natural opportunity to act and react.  She teaches by example, when to be submissive, when to be aggressive and when to circle (avoidance).  

There are a number of variables, such as no two animals alike and no two people having the same understanding, knowledge and horse experience.  Ezee Wean is custom built and information about horse behavior is shared.  Support coaching is available when your foal has a persistent personality. 

Critical Thinking Is Needed If Your Foal Has A Persistent Personality

After you apply the EZEE WEAN and if you observe you have a baby with a persistent personality, and a very tolerating mother (mom allows the foal to nurse) do not remove EZEE WEAN.  Be patient and give it at least five days. The baby will not nurse as frequent, and mother’s milk production will decrease some.  Do not toss in the towel and go back using the good “old boy” method, force separation. 

First you need to observe your mare’s behavior and determine if your timing is right. Is mother walking away from the foal while it is nursing, also, if mom is nipping or biting the foal in the butt when baby attempts to nurse?  Both are signs mom is attempting to start the natural weaning process.

Keep in mind; it is difficult for the mare to wean her baby naturally when we have confined their movement.  Unnatural behavior develops when we confine horses in small spaces, and when their numbers are to few.  Horses are fleeing animals and they feel safe when they are in numbers.

 Nursing provides a form of stimulation (arousal) to the mare, especially when she is coming into her cycle.  This is not the time to begin the weaning process. Some mares are more tolerant during this time and will allow the foal to nurse because she seeks the arousal.  Again, by eliminating your mare access to a breeding partner is not natural in nature.  Your vigilant observation is needed and proper preparation for intervention must be planned (proper timing) for positive results.  Implement a distraction for either animal or separate for a short period.  

Your immediate goal is to reduce the production of milk, by less nursing.  This can be done by eliminating all grain to mom and use distraction techniques, redirecting the foal’s activities.  Use play, message, grooming, and food as distractions.  If you have the facilities, separate your animals for short periods of time during the day.  Separation at nighttime may be easier, it is quieter, eating is less, and mom’s hearing is keener at night.  Mother and baby should be stalled or placed in paddocks adjacent to each other so they can see and smell each other.  The foal should have access to water and provide hay for distraction.  In the morning, turn them out together again, so mom can continue to educate.  Be sure Ezee Wean is on 24/7 whenever they are together.  This brief separation time will eventually cause a reduction in milk and it will help the foal to become more independent.  Mother will appreciate the break.  After a period of two to three weeks, Mom should be moving away from the foal when it attempts to nurse because the tit will be more difficult to reach and they should be able to be together 24/7 now.  EZEE WEAN needs to be left on long after mom’s milk has dried up.  Your next step is to start taking one of them out independently, start with taking the baby away from mom.  Mom will appreciate it.  Stay near to mom at first, and then gradually move farther away, after confidence and trust has developed (may take several sessions).  Establish a plan of activities, in advance, so you are able to keep the baby’s mind working (a form of distraction).  Be sure to put Ezee Wean back on before returning baby to mom, it reminds mom to say “no” to baby’s attempts to nurse. 

The process typically takes about 6-8 weeks, but no two situations are alike. Do not substitute someone else’s judgment for your own.  Once you make the natural connection, the process of weaning a foal will become an amazing life experience with your horses. 

Ezee Wean comes in two forms, Ezee Wean Break Away Halter (built all in one) and/or an Ezee Wean Strap.  The strap is applied directly to your favorite halter.  We recommend that your halter be a breakaway style and have an adjustable chinstrap, to reduce lateral movement.  The strap style attaches to your halter by wrapping around the noseband and stays in place with Velcro. 
Prices are based on style and size.
Halter style (most popular) price range $52 - $60.  Strap style price range $36 - $42

To obtained information or to place an order Contact: 
    Horsing Around, LLC - 2221 Heimstead Road, Eau Claire, WI  54703
   Secure Website:  Toll Free: (866) Get Ezee (438-3933

Ezee Wean
The Ezee Wean looks “barbaric”, some would say, but looks can be deceiving. Judging any method or product based on looks alone is not using good reasoning for recommending or not recommending a method or a product.

I have passion for my animals, especially horses, just as you may have for yours. I would not develop a product that would intentionally cause an injury to an animal. The prongs on my EZEE WEAN are flexible and blunt ended.  The length of the prongs had been determined by studying the way a foal dips under to nurse.  Each foal varies its position to nurse.  The prong length was established to bump the mare, in the flank.  The two most sensitive areas on a horse are the flank and the nose area.  The design of Ezee Wean causes both animals to experience discomfort.  Remember both mom and baby have an innate (natural) since of caution during nursing, and mother calls the shots to stop, at any time, especially if baby does not respect the process.  Mother gives fair warning.  She will ring her tail, pin her ears back, move to the side, stomp her hoof, and finally she will bit the baby’s butt.  A mare will not intentionally kick to injure her own baby.  If a broodmare exhibits such a mean spirit, she should not be bred back.  When baby stops its attempt to nurse, it is immediately rewarded (application of the principle theory of comfort and discomfort). Ezee Wean allows the mare and foal to stay together, eliminating the breaking of the mare/foal bond during the weaning process.  Just like in nature, the mare can continue to nurture and educate until the foal is more mature.  Their bond can be broken at a later date when the foal is less dependent on the mare for nursing and when the foal has developed self-confidence. Ezee Wean is a sensitive and a more natural method of weaning foals. “Force separation” had been developed for the convenience of man and I believe little thought had been given to how unnatural “force separation” was for the animals.

Contact: Our Friendly Staff
2221 Heimstead Rd.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Phone: 1-866-GET-EZEE (438-3933)

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